• Victorian & British Impression auction at Christies

    Sale 7788

    Victorian & British Impressionist Pictures Including Drawings and Watercolours

    16 December 2009, London, King Street

  • Lot 60

    Myles Birket Foster, R.W.S. (1825-1899)

    Warks Burn, Northumberland

    Price Realised  


    Myles Birket Foster, R.W.S. (1825-1899)
    Warks Burn, Northumberland
    signed with monogram 'BF' (lower left) and signed again, inscribed and numbered 'Birket Foster/No.2 Wark's Burn. Northumberland' (on a label attached to the backboard)
    pencil, watercolour and bodycolour on paper
    17½ x 35¼ in. (44.5 x 89.5 cm.)

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    The Art Journal, loc.cit., reviewing the Summer exhibition at the Royal Society of Painters in Watercolours, 1861, wrote of the present work 'Birket Foster's "Wark's Burn, Northumberland" (no 7) is pleasantly mellow in colour; he may be congratulated on the breadth he gets into his work when it is remembered that the entire surface of his paper is worked over in stipple, though it is not so apparent in this drawing as in some others'.

    Abraham Haworth, an avid art collector, was born in Bolton and founded Abraham Haworth & Co., a cotton broking firm in the 1880s. His brother Jesse is noted for the donations he made, both of pictures by artists such as Holman Hunt, Millais and Turner, and of money, to the Manchester Museum, which included the funding for an extension completed in 1912 and named the Jesse Haworth Building. In 2006 three watercolours by J.M.W. Turner that had previously been in the collection of Abraham Haworth (A View of the Roman Forum (1818), Orfordness (circa 1827) and Lake Lucerne (1845)) were acquired by the Whitworth Art Gallery, Manchester. Like the present watercolour, these works had been purchased by Abraham Haworth from Agnew's who, at that time, had an office in Manchester serving the region's increasingly prosperous industrial and mercantile collectors.
    Warks Burn flows through a dramatic rocky gorge from Wark Forest, west of Stonehaugh, Northumberland, to meet the River North Tyne at Wark not far from where Birket Foster grew up in North Shields to the east of Newcastle-upon-Tyne.

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    with Agnew's, Manchester.
    Abraham Haworth, Hilston House, Bowden, and by descent to the present owner.

    Pre-Lot Text



    The Art Journal, 1861, p. 174.
    J. Reynolds, Birket Foster, London, 1984, p. 77.


    Probably London, The Royal Society of Painters in Water-colours, Summer Exhibition, 1861, no. 7.
    Manchester, Royal Jubilee Exhibition, 1887, no. 1296 (?).
    Probably Nottingham Castle, Pictures of the British School in Oil and Water-colours, 1896, no. 109.